August 28, 2012 (TSR) – A Louisiana public school’s decision to purchase palm scanners to speed up lunch lines and payments has been met with religious opposition.
Mother Mamie Sonnier said that she will not allow her children to participate in the scanner payment program, alleging that the technology would imprint the mark of the beast, or 666, on their hands.
Moss Bluff Elementary School principal Charles Caldarera says the system will reduce errors and is optional, but that wasn’t enough of an argument for Mrs Sonnier, who has taken the program to be a sign of the apocalypse.
The elementary school sent out letters on Monday explaining the program and why it was being implemented.
With more than 1,000 students at the school, they hope that the palm vein scanners will streamline the lunch period and reduce costly payment errors.
It will also afford children more time to eat if they are spending less in line.
‘We are so large,’ said Principal Caldarera to KPLCTV.
‘With an elementary school, they all come through line, and most of them eat here. It would make us more efficient and more accurate.’
He continued:’We’ve had parents complain in the past, because they felt like their children weren’t eating, that we assigned them a charge for the day, and they might have been right.’
He looked to school food service director Patricia Hoseman, who recommended the scanner.
The Fujitsu Palm Vein Scanner identifies students using a near-infrared light to capture a person’s palm vein pattern, generating a unique biometric template to match against a database.
‘As a Christian, I’ve read the Bible, you know go to church and stuff,’ said Mrs Sonnier.re
‘I know where it’s going to end up coming to, the Mark of the Beast. I’m not going to let my kids have that.’
Some Christians believe that the spread of the Mark of the Beast, or 666, will signify the end of days.
The mark is described in Revelations:
‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives his mark on the forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.’
The use of an international currency to transmit the Mark of the Beast is popularized by futurists and Seventh-day Adventists.
‘He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name,’ the bible reads.
Mrs Sonnier says that other parents have a similar concern.
Principal Caldarera was flabbergasted by the accusation.
‘I think some people feel it’s something with the Bible, mark of the beast,’ he told KPLCTV.
‘It’s technology that is used throughout our lives. Everywhere.’
Florida’s Pinellas Schools were the first to adopt the technology last year, where the implementation was opposed on the grounds of funding.
Each scanner costs approximately $3,500, though officials say the system will save thousands in unpaid lunch fees.
Still, Mrs Sonnier is ‘very, very mad.’
She says that if the scanner is implemented, she’s going pull her kids out of school – and harm’s way.